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Our Turn

Our Turn

By Greg Kozera–

Last weekend we celebrated our heroes who died for our liberty. In World War II my father was a Marine fighting in the Pacific. Like most combat veterans he never talked about combat. Dad told us about crossing the equator and his time in Australia and New Zealand. As we got older he would share bits and pieces of his war experiences. He fought at Tarawa. Dad told us he was in the second wave to hit the beach, “The first wave was wiped out. If I had been in the first wave you wouldn’t be here.” Thin threads.

It as an adult I thought about my Dad wading ashore getting shot at with no protection. He knew all of his buddies in the first wave died. He waded through their bodies to get to shore. Once on shore he spent three days fighting one of the bloodiest battles of the war and survived. Dad was wounded by a grenade at Saipan. He carried fragments of that grenade in his body to his grave. He spent time talking to other veterans who had also been to war and had their own memories. Dad had nightmares. Mom told me when I was older, Dad would start kicking and thrashing his arms. She would jump out of bed in fear. Maybe that’s why he smoked 3 packs of cigarettes a day, which ultimately killed him.

Because of people like my parents and others you know from the Greatest Generation we are still free. My mother like many other women took a job in manufacturing during World War II. America wasn’t prepared for war. President Roosevelt knew to win the war we would have to out produce our enemies. For Americans to win on the battlefield guns, ammunition, fuel, food, planes, tanks and ships were needed. The home front would do the impossible. From 1941- 1945 the USA produced 295,000 planes of all types. Germany and Japan combined produced 168,000. The USA produced 193,000 artillery pieces, 86,000 tanks and 2 million army trucks. Companies producing automobiles, appliances and toys began producing guns, trucks, tanks and aircraft engines. The US Navy had 350 major ships in December 1941. By 1945 the Navy had added nearly 1200 major ships. American industrial production doubled.

The Greatest Generation showed us in World War II what is possible. Today we face a different enemy, Covid-19. We have different heroes. Our health care workers are on the front lines fighting this enemy. Just like WWII, they need the home front to produce for them. They don’t need guns, tanks and ships. They need PPE, ventilators and test kits. When this started we were dependent on other countries, particularly China for these items. Imagine if we had been dependent on Japan or Germany for our guns, tanks and ships when WWII started? All the war supplies for our troops were American made. We could not depend on suppliers outside of the USA.

The fuel for manufacturing and combat came from came American oil wells refined in American refineries. During WWII, Texas and Oklahoma produced most of our oil. Refineries were primarily on the east coast. Oil was shipped from Texas to the east coast by ship. German submarines began sinking our oil tankers so long-haul pipelines were built from Texas to the northeast. They didn’t have protestors to slow them down. (That would have been treason.) After the war, many of these pipelines were used to transport natural gas to the northeast helping to fuel post war manufacturing in our Region. They are still in use transporting natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica out of Shale Crescent USA to petrochemical facilities on the Gulf Coast.

Like the home front in WWII, we need to support our heroes on the front line today fighting the virus. We need to make sure they have the equipment they need to protect themselves and defeat the virus. Just like in WWII, the home front is responding. US companies like Ford and GM stopped making cars in some plants and are making ventilators. Local distilleries are making hand sanitizer instead of bourbon. One local company made changes to make ventilator parts. Companies in the Shale Crescent USA are now making face shields and masks. Home industries and even individuals like my wife, Lynnda began making face masks for family and friends. This is America at its best.

The raw materials for ALL of the products our front-line healthcare heroes need come from oil and gas wells that are ALL fracked. It is essential that these are American wells. We need a strong US oil and gas industry to fuel new manufacturing and provide feedstock for essential products. If the USA was dependent on Europe or Asia for fuel in WWII, we would be speaking a different language today. One strategy for winning the war was to cutoff Japan and Germany’s fuel supply. My uncle told me about marching past out of fuel German tanks on his way to Berlin.

We need to do our part to make sure essential products are made in the USA without a global supply chain. There are groups and even politicians who want to keep our fossil fuels in the ground depriving our heroes of essential weapons for their war against Covid-19. Wind and solar provide only one product, intermittent electricity and need fossil fuels for their manufacture. Like in WWII, to win this and future wars we need to have our fuel and feedstocks produced in the USA. We can’t depend on OPEC again.

It is our turn. We need to be heard. Freedom is never free. The health and safety of people is at stake. So is the future of our country and personal liberty. Thoughts to ponder.

© 2020 Shale Crescent USA

Greg Kozera, is the Director of Marketing and Sales for Shale Crescent USA. He is a professional engineer with a Masters in Environmental Engineering who has over 40 years’ experience in the energy industry. Greg is a leadership expert and the author of four books and numerous published articles.